The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I feel so domestic today...

I am totally not the super domestic type- really, but today, I feel domestic. I made homemade chicken soup and homebaked rolls for dinner. I sent my son to school with homemade applesauce and homemade apple juice. I baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert tonight, which I am totally excited to eat with a glass of milk tonight while watching t.v. after Vinny goes to bed.

Although I must say, I totally know why the world has changed so much in the past 50 something years, where it is more normal now for women to work than stay home. And I know now why women who do stay home want to find other mom friends. Because 50 years ago... a family would not have functioned if a woman didn't stay home.

We really take things like sliced bread for granted. To send your kid to school with a sandwich in the first part of this century meant Mom baked bread. It takes a very long time to bake bread. In fact, today I started with frozen dough, but I still had to thaw it and let it rise, and just letting it rise took hours. I didn't even have to make the dough or knead it or anything like that. And I must admit, despite the fact that I really prefer fresh food... today I used frozen precut boneless chicken breast tenderloins to make the soup, along with boxed chicken stock, and frozen pre-cut veggies. I'd be lost without all that stuff. I can cook, so I could do it myself, but who wants to skin and de-bone a chicken, just to make soup?

I did make the applesauce and apple juice yesterday completely from scratch, way old school style.. no pre-prepared ingredients. We even hand picked the apples from the trees on Saturday. If you don't count the time it took to pick the apples, making the sauce and juice took about 4 hours from start to finish. (Okay, I had to take breaks to feed Tiana, but still). This is why women didn't use to work. Before pre-prepared foods, I don't see how women would have had time to work... and without pre-prepared foods, I can't see how a family would function.

However... those prepackaged foods do cost a pretty penny in comparison to the homemade alternative. We don't think about it because we are used to buying them every week, but I can definitely see how much of my income goes to people who do things like bake sandwich bread. I guess it is all in perspective. Perhaps if we lived on a farm, grew our own food, baked our own bread, and bought nothing pre-prepared, I could probably get away with not working.... but why would I want to? I like to cook, but really, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies taste the same when you buy the pouch mix and add butter and egg as they do when you buy all the dry ingredients separately.

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